Thursday, November 13, 2014

Remembering Anita Steiner a true social media mesothelioma warrior

Anita SteinerAnita Steiner lost her battle with deadly mesothelioma (asbestos cancer) 12 Nov 2011 at the young age of 49 years.  This picture shows Anita with her little girl Emma.

To know Anita was to love her!  A beautiful warrior who was an Australian pioneer of social media and instrumental in setting up various asbestos related groups/pages on facebook to reach out to others living with an asbestos related disease worldwide.  It is now 3 years since Anita lost her battle.  She is always with me and I will continue to advocate for the sufferers of asbestos related diseases and their families and for greater awareness of the dangers of asbestos, and prevent people from being exposed in the future.  RIP beautiful lady- whose life was taken too soon thanks to asbestos greed.


Name: Anita
Age: 49
Location: Australia
Date of 1st Symptoms: 17-Feb-2011
Date of Diagnosis: 25-May-2007
Diagnosis: Mesothelioma
Treatment: Lining of right lung removed.  Chemo with Alimta and Cisplatin
How has Asbestos changed your life? (unedited): I had exposure to asbestos when I was about 4 or 5 and was diagnosed with mesothelioma about 40 years later.  It took 12 months to finally receive a diagnosis.  The tumours where discovered during exploratory surgery and the surgeon made the call to remove the lining of my right lung on the spot. Immediately following this I did chemotherapy with Alimta and Cisplatin. After 6 sessions of chemo PET scan declared me to be in complete remission with no traces left of any tumours.  A few months later, aged 46 I fell pregnant and Emma was born in December 2008.  October 2010 the mesothelioma returned and I’m currently having chemo again.  My last scan showed a moderate reduction in my tumours.
I believe I have a pretty positive outlook.  I have a lot of faith in medical science and the speed at which new knowledge about cancers are being discovered.  I truly believe that sooner rather than later there will be a cure for this and for most cancers.   I believe that using current treatments many of us can hopefully keep hanging in there until a true cure comes along.
In October last year my tumours returned.  I have been undergoing chemo since then and have had some good results with reductions in my tumours.  My daughter is my inspiration to keep fighting this and I continue my faith that some cure soon will be discovered.
I have been telling my story as a means of promoting awareness.  For example, 17th May 2001 on Channel 7 news in Australia, there is a feature on Women and Mesothelioma where I talk about the increase in diagnosis of women with Mesothelioma. Watch it HERE.
I have a blog that I started when I was first diagnosed with the intention of keeping friends and relatives up to date on my progress.  I now also use my blog to hopefully help others with Mesothelioma.   For example, I talk about my techniques to keep positive when things get tough.  My blog is
I am also involved with ADSVIC (Asbestos Diseases Society of Victory) and an online support network which evolved via Facebook.  We call ourselves the Mesowarriors.
I am concerned that there is still a lack of awareness of the dangers of asbestos and would like to see this changed..

Asbestos cancer survivor in international award article

Nov 2014 (Macedon Ranges, Victoria) Australia
Great Gisborne Gazette Nov 2014 edition.
Asbestos cancer survivor in international award
Louise Williams is a long term survivor of mesothelioma (asbestos) cancer and is currently undergoing further chemotherapy.
But earlier this year she was able to travel to the US to accept an award for her advocacy work.
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organisation presented Louise with the Alan Reinstein award at a conference in Washington in April.
Louise is social media spokesperson for Asbestos Diseases Foundation Australia and Australian Director of Global Ban Asbestos Network and works hard to raise awareness of asbestos diseases.
Asbestos is a killer. Louise says that in the early 1900s it was known that asbestos was a carcinogenic .............

 "I only know to fight - and fight hard"she says.  "My pain and knowledge has spurred me on to advocate for the sufferers of asbestos-related diseases and their families and for greater awareness of the dangers of asbestos, and prevent people being exposed in the future".

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Chemotherapy day 14, ASEA International Conference Melbourne 17 to 18 Nov 2014 and goodbye to a beautiful warrior

Chemotherapy day 14 - probably the worst day of it today!  I woke up this morning feeling very weak, exhausted and in a bit of pain.  Mid morning saw me struggling to walk far without feeling out of breath and fluid building up in peritoneal and pleural areas.  Very scary and yet strangely I was at peace in my own little world when this happened.  We had to go out and pick up our mail up at the Trading Post, Mt Macedon where after sitting down in the cafe for a little while and having a glass of apple juice and half a savoury muffin, I came good so next a visit to Gisborne for petrol and the shops.  I had to go and lie down on a park bench for a while to get my shallow breathing back in order.  Sitting in the park with Keith, I found myself looking up at the beautiful blue sky with a few clouds in it and thinking this is my little world and I am cocooned here on this park bench,  I could just close my eyes and not wake up as I was at peace with myself and the world.  HOWEVER I am not one to give up and tonight I am feeling much better and even on the computer writing this blog with Charlie (my siamese cat) on my lap and the heater on as it is freezing cold here tonight.  With mesothelioma we are up and down with symptoms and when my breathing was so shallow and painful I wanted to shout to the world that mesothelioma cancer I would not wish on my worst enemy (not that I have one lol)!

On a more exciting note - the 1st International Conference on Asbestos Awareness & Management in Australia is just a few days away.  ASEA (Asbestos Safety Eradication and Awareness) are hosting this wonderful conference and I am delighted to be part of it!  By the start of the conference I will be fighting fit!

Linda Reinstein, CEO, ADAO  wrote below about the Conference.

ADAO Presenting at the 1st International ASEA Asbestos Safety and Management Conference in Australia

Australian ConferencePosted on September 08, 2014 ADAO to Participate in 1st International ASEA Asbestos Safety and Management Conference in Australia
Posted on November 10, 2014
The Australian Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA) will host its 1st International Conference on Asbestos Awareness and Management on November 16-18, 2014 in Melbourne. The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is honored to have been formally invited, alongside many of the world’s top ban asbestos leaders, to participate and present in this world class event.
Dr. Richard Lemen, Co-Chair of the ADAO Science Advisory Board, and Assistant US Surgeon General (retired), will give the international keynote on “Asbestos and Public Health: A US Perspective.” I am pleased to be presenting within the “Creating an Environment for Change” panel which also includes Peter Tighe, Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency Chief Executive Officer, Prof. Ken Takahashi, Professor of Environmental Epidemiology, Director of WHO Collaborating Centre, Japan, and Laurie Kazan-Allen, Coordinator, International Ban Asbestos Secretariat.” Click here for information about the program and presenters.
My international keynote presentation, “The Importance of Building and Sustaining Strategic Global and Domestic Partnerships,” will focus on how ADAO has harnessed the digital revolution and social media to spark and sustain international collaboration and prevention efforts. After the presentation will be a panel discussion including Paul Bastian, National Secretary at Australian Manufacturing worker’s Union, and Kate Lee, from Union Aid Abroad (APHEDA). In this unique event we will showcase this international collaboration combining the efforts and knowledge of nonprofits and unions alike.
In 2002, when Australia was blacklisted as a country with “one of the highest incidence rates of mesothelioma in the world,” the government took action (Leigh & Driscoll 2002). Since then, the Australian government has taken a proactive stance in combating this deadly problem and in doing so has set the bar for other developed nations to strive for in asbestos prevention. Following their 2003 ban of asbestos, Australia has built an extensive system to protect its citizens from this carcinogen as seen in their National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Awareness and Management. This forward thinking plan serves as a model many of us would like to emulate in our countries.
The  1st International Conference on Asbestos Awareness and Management is landmark conference fully organized and funded by the ASEA – a integral part of the Australian Government. Mr. Peter Tighe, ASEA Chief Executive Officer, remarked:
“November is (Australia’s) National Asbestos Awareness Month and the [ASEA] agency has organized a conference featuring well renowned international experts in asbestos management, health, advocacy and governance to challenge delegates into thinking how Australia can drive change in our region and globally when it comes to the continued manufacturing and distribution of asbestos containing materials. This event will provide a stimulating and entertaining environment for delegates and stakeholders to discuss the big issues facing them in raising awareness about the dangers of asbestos in our work and domestic environment and how it can be managed into the future.”
ADAO sends our gratitude and support to the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency as they continue to raise awareness and action to protect public health and raise international standards in regards to asbestos prevention.

With sadness ... we say goodbye to another beautiful Mesothelioma warrior - Jill Vaughn. We send our sincere condolences to Jill's family and friends during this difficult time. May we all remember Jill’s courage and perseverance throughout her 18-year mesothelioma battle, as she inspired countless patients and families around the world.  As Jill wrote for years "Another songbird falls silent on Earth, and in the heavens another star blinks into existence in the evening skies to help light the way for the rest of us.” Sweet Jill, you will live on in our hearts forever. Tisha Vaughn, we are sending love and prayers to all of you.  When attending the ADAO Asbestos Conference in Washington, DC in April 2013 I had the pleasure of meeting beautiful Jill and her loving husband Bud.
As I say goodnight on this blog, Charlie has started his count with the baby bunnies (wild ones) as he brought us a present last night and dropped it at our feet ....  Last summer his count was 38 bunnies!  Here they are a menace and just breed so fast.  Today he is exhausted and sleeping most of the day to regain his strength!